100+ Environmental Justice groups and national environmental organizations request COVID-19 relief to alleviate public health risks in vulnerable communities
Washington, D.C. – More than 100 national environmental organizations and environmental justice groups from around the country signed on to a spending request letter written by the co-authors of the Equitable and Just National Climate Platform. The letter includes spending requests to protect public health and safety, clean up toxic pollution, and reduce emissions in low-income communities and communities of color.
In their joint letter, environmental justice advocates and environmental groups state that “environmental justice communities, tribal communities, low-income communities and communities of color are hit hardest by economic downturns and must be prioritized. Members of these communities are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because they are often exposed to disproportionately high levels of pollution and have underlying health conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and cancer.” The co-signers of the letter urge Congress to “ensure that the pathway for economic recovery works for everyone and that the benefits of a stimulus package are distributed equitably and justly.”
The joint letter requests substantial spending increases for programs that are critical to protecting community health and safety, including the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants, Low Income Home Energy Assistance, Weatherization Assistance, programs that reduce pollution from transportation and goods movement, Environmental Justice Small Grants, Superfund Site Cleanup, Community Development Block Grants, among others.
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